Duevangs Deluxe: Ambitious Danish haute cuisine
By Trine Jensen-Martin | Photos: René Duevang
A relative newcomer on the Danish food scene, Duevangs Deluxe is an absolute must for fans of fine dining. With an outstanding menu and experienced, skillful staff who are passionate about the whole dining experience, it is little wonder that this gem of a place has big ambitions. Watch this space and book a table before everyone else does!
Situated by the picturesque Lovparken (a public park and gardens) in Køge, only 25 minutes south of Copenhagen, Duevangs Deluxe offers modern high-end cooking at its finest. Owners and proprietors Jimmy and Rikke Duevang are behind this family affair and labour of love, with seven dedicated and passionate full-time members of staff. Their focus is on quality and flavours, and the creative kitchen delivers delicious, beautifully-crafted seasonal food. The restaurant is small and intimate, catering for up to 30 people à la carte and 60 people for larger functions. During the summer months, guests at Duevangs Deluxe can dine under the trees of Lovparken – a truly unique experience.
French cuisine adapted to Danish tastebuds
Rikke and Jimmy previously ran a small eatery in Præstø, serving more traditional Danish food, but Jimmy felt pulled by his passion for and background in French cuisine. The idea for a high-end restaurant started taking shape. In 2018, Jimmy went to Køge with the intention of buying interiors and white goods from a closed down restaurant. He got talking to previous owner Jørn, who recognised Jimmy from years before in Køge, and knew of his reputation as a fine chef.
Jørn made Jimmy an offer he couldn’t refuse, so he came back with a lease to reopen the restaurant – rather than a truckload of furniture and cookery ware. Duevangs Deluxe opened its doors in August 2018 during the popular Køge Festuge (Køge Party Week), which attracts thousands of visitors. They were an instant, roaring success. The place continues to attract guests and is regularly fully booked.
“Our guests are hugely supportive and keep coming back for more,” explains Jimmy’s cousin and Duevangs Deluxe in-house events coordinator, René Duevang. They already have a loyal local following, but word is spreading fast, and people are coming from further afield to sample their exciting and refined food. Jimmy’s education and inspiration is the classical French kitchen, but “adapted to Danish tastebuds,” René explains. The result is a beautiful fusion of classical French cooking with seasonal Danish ingredients.
Attention to detail goes beyond the food they create at Duevangs Deluxe and extends to the special crockery they use in the restaurant. Some years back, Jimmy and Rikke bought a collection of plates from an antiques shop in Præstø, made by renowned Danish designer and sculptor Jens Harald Quistgaard. Quistgaard’s collection has recently gone into a museum and is considered a truly distinctive example of Danish heritage and style. Using these unique plates is more than an elegant touch; serving up modern Danish cuisine on antique Danish plates brings together Denmark’s old and new. This is kitchen art, and each stunning piece can be appreciated on the plate and on the palate, too.
An evening full of surprises
Duevangs Deluxe unique Gourmet Evenings are hugely popular. It’s not a traditional tasting menu, as the guests book a table knowing only the theme of the evening, not the menu. One such recent theme was fish and seafood. This allows the kitchen to use the freshest foods available that very morning, as they forage for herbs in Lovparken, and adds an element of surprise to proceedings.
Jimmy and his sous-chef Martin introduce the small delicate dishes, all created meticulously and with the greatest care, whilst their visiting wine expert introduces the accompanying wine. There is often a story to tell behind the dishes, such as the amusing time Jimmy found himself buying truffles out of the boot of a clapped-out car in what, to an innocent bystander, might have looked rather unsavoury. “Our guests really enjoy letting us choose for them,” Rene says, which speaks to their trust in Jimmy and his team, and explains why they return time and again.
Duevangs Deluxe have their sights set even higher for the future. “The first step is a Michelin recommendation,” says René. “The next step would be to aim for a star!” he continues. They pride themselves on personal recommendations and there is something refreshingly honest about their reputation, which grows by word of mouth. “Feedback is very important to us,” Rene says. “We always take on board what our guests say and want to become better at what we do at every turn.” This is of huge importance to everyone at Duevangs Deluxe – to continue to improve the whole dining experience for their guests so that they not only leave satisfied, but come back for more.
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